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situations to be taken, it is requisite to proceed so as to obtain most captives, preferring kings before the men. The antagonist can insist upon this being done, or huff the piece; and if, in taking prisoner, a man merely pass over one or more of the back squares, he is not thereby entitled to be crowned, that event only taking place when remaining on one of the said squares. A king may move from one end of an oblique line to another, if the passage be free, both from his own colour and the adversary's, provided such adversaries are not in a position to be taken; and having adversaries to take, the king may at once traverse over several squares, provided those squares are empty; or over squares occupied by the adversary's pieces, should they be in a situation to be taken; so that a king often turns to the right and left, making almost the whole range of the board. When, towards the conclusion, the players happen to have, one three kings, the other one king only, on the board: if the single king be upon the centre diagonal line, and there be no immediate stroke in view, the game, after a few moves, should be relinquished and considered as a drawn game. But if the single king do not occupy the said centre diagonal line, it is usual to play on till twenty moves shall have been respectively repeated before the game is pronounced drawn. When towards the end of a game, only a king against a king and two men, or two kings and one man, remain on the board, the player having the solitary king may compel the adversary to have his man or men crowned directly, in order to lose no time in beginning the aforesaid twenty moves. If at any time a false move be made, it depends upon the adversary whether it shall be recalled; and when a piece is touched, unless for the sake of arranging the same, the adversary may insist upon that being played, if it can be so done.
Backgammon is widely different from draughts, inasmuch as the element of chance is largely introduced, while draughts, on the contrary, is purely a game of skill. Still there has always been a sort of association between the two games. The same kind of men are used, and the folding draught-boards are almost invariably marked for backgammon inside.
Like most of the established and favourite games in this country, backgammon lays claim to great antiquity. It was well known to our Saxon forefathers, and from time immemorial it has taken its position among what we may term the tlite of popular games. Chaucer mentions it, and since his time several of our most eminent writers speak of it in a way which shows that it was a game much in fashion with the better classes of society.
This game is played by two persons with a box and dice, on a board divided into four parts, two outer and two inner tables, upon which there are twelve black and twelve white points.
Each player has fifteen men, black and white to distinguish them. If you play into the left-hand table, two of your men are placed upon the ace point m your adversary's inner table; five upon the sixth point in his outer table; three upon the cinque point in your own outer table; and five upon the sixth point in your own inner table, and the adversary's men are to be placed so as to correspond with yours in a directly opposite position. The object of the game is to bring the men round to your own "home," or inner table: consequently, all throws of the dice that tend to this, and impede your adversary in executing the same design on his part, are in your favour. The first most advantageous throw is aces, as it blocks the sixth point in your outer table. and secures the cinque point in your inner table, so that your adversary's two men upon your ace point cannot escape with his throwing either quater, cinque, or six. Accordingly, this throw is often asked and given between players of unequal skill by way of odds.
Black'.- Home, or Clack"> Outer
12 3 4 0 0 7 8 9 10 11 IB
1. If you play three up, your principal object in the first place is either to secure your own or your adversary's cinque point. When that is effected you may play a pushing game, and endeavour to gammon your opponent.
2. The next best point (after you have gained your cinque point) is to make your bar-point, thereby preventing your adversary running away with two sixes.
3. After you have proceeded thus far, prefer making the quatre point in your own table, rather than the quatre point out of it.
4. Having gained these points, you have a fair chance to gammon your adversary if he be very forward. For suppose his table to be broken at home, it will be then your interest to open your bar-point, to oblige him to come out of your table with a six, and having your men spread, you not only may catch that man which your adversary brings out of your table, but will also have a probability of taking up the man left in your table, upon the supposition that he had two men there. And if he should have a blot at home, it will be then your interest not to make up your table, because if he should enter upon a blot which you are to make for the purpose, you will have a probability of getting a third man, which, if accomplished, will give you at least four to one of the gammon; whereas, if you have only two of his men up, the odds are that you do not gammon him.
5. If you play for a hit only, one or two men taken up of your adversary's makes it surer than a great number, provided your table be made up.
Bear1ng Your Men.—Removing them from the table after bringing them home.
BLOt.—A tingle man upon a point.
DoUBLETS.—Two dice bearing the same number of pips. Gammon.—To win a gammon is to win two out of the three points constituting the game.
Hit.—To remove all your men before your adversary has done so.
To Enter.—To enter is to place a man again on the board aftei he has been excluded on acccunt of a point being already full.
Laws Of The Game. If you take a man or men from any point, that man or men must be played.
You are not understood to have played any till it is placed upon a
If you play with fourteen men only, there is no penalty attending it,
If you have mistaken your throw, and played it, and your adversary
Ouservat1ons, H1nts, And Cautions. By the directions given to play for a gammon, you arc voluntarily to make ome blots, the odds being in your favour that they are not hit, but should that so happen then you will have three men on your adversary's table. You must then endeavour to secure your adversary's cinque, quatre, or trois point to prevent a gammon, and must be very cautious how you suffer him to take up a front man.
Take care not to crowd your game; that is, putting many men either upon your trois or deuce point in your own table; which is, in effect, losing these men by not having them in play. Besides, by crowding your game you are oftener gammoned; as, when your adversary finds your game open, by being crowded in your own table, he may then play as he thinks fit.
If you are obliged to leave a blot, by having recourse to the calculations for hitting it, you will find the chances for and against you.
You will also find the odds for and against being hit by double dice, and consequently can choose a method of play most to your advantage.
If it be necessary to make a run in order to win a hit, and you would know who is forwardest, begin with reckoning how many points you must have to bring home to the six point in your table the man that is at the greatest distance, and do the like by every other man abroad. When the numbers are summed up, add for those already on your own tables (supposing the men that were abroad as on your six point for bearing), namely, six for every man on the six, and so on respectively for each—five, four, three, two, or one for every man, according to the points on which they are situated. Do the like to your adversary's game, and then you will know which of you is forwardest and likeliest to win the hit.
If your adversary be greatly before you, never play a man from your quatre, trois, or deuce points; but, instead of playing an ace or a deuce from any of those points, always play from your highest point.
Whenever you have taken up two of your adversary's men, and happen to have two, three, or more points made on your own table, never fail spreading your men either to take a new point in your table, or to hit a man your adversary may happen to enter. As soon as he enters one, compare his game with yours, and if you find your game equal or better, take the man if you can, because it is twenty-five to eleven against his hitting you.
If you should happen to have five points in your table, and to have taken up one of your adversary's men, and arc obliged to leave a blot out of your table, rather leave it upon doubtless than any other.
Two of your adversary's men in your table are better for a hit than a greater number, provided your game be forwardest; because with three or more he would have more chances to hit you.
If you are to leave a blot upon entering a man on your adversary's table, and have your choice where, always select that point which is most disadvantageous to him.
t. All pronounce me a wonderful piece 01 mechanism, and yet few have numbered up the strange medley of which I am composed. I have a large box, two lids, two caps and musical instruments, a number of weathercocks, and three established measures ; some weapons of warfare, and a great many little articles that carpenters cannot do without. Then I always have about me a couple of esteemed fishes, and a great number of a smaller kind ; two lofty trees and the fruit of an indigenous plant ; a handsome stag and a vast number of smaller and less tame kind of game; two halls or places of worship; two students, or rather scholars, and half a score of Spanish gentlemen to attend upon me. I have also what is the terror of the slave, two domesic animals, and a number of negatives.
Three feet have I, but ne'er attempt to go;
I shoot, but never kill a bird;
I fall—where, none can say.
I yet am far away.
And underfoot it's tied,
Who use me for a guide.
Will partially explain
To make their way more plain.
How sad a change is there!
To what we cannot bear.
My first is deep; my second skims the wave;
In my first, my second sat; my third and fourth, I ate.
Cut off my head, and singular I am;
Cut off my tail, and plural I appear;
Although my middle's left, there's nothing there.
What is my last? It is a flowing river.
Parent of sweetest sounds, though mute for ever.
Cato and Chloe combined well together
My first's the joy of every cozy dame,
In my first for ever flow